Celebration of young Artists

Philip Manning is this year’s Don Chrysler Concerto Competition winner, and we are looking forward to hearing him play Max Bruch’s wonderful First Violin Concerto in our concerts on 30 and 31 October.

This young man of eighteen has already had some notable successes. He told High Notes that, in particular, playing the Victoria Symphony Splash last summer was a unique experience—the outdoor venue, the beautiful August evening, the thousands of people everywhere on shore.

Philip has been playing the violin since he was six, when he began lessons with Carol McIsaac. His current teacher is Robert Skelton, of Mill Bay.

Philip was born in Victoria. His grandfather played clarinet and saxophone, and his mother plays piano. He has a younger brother who also plays piano.

He is a graduate of Lighthouse Academy and lives in Metchosin.

He enjoyed playing in a piano trio, Trio Tesoro, for three years,; in 2008 the three young musicians traveled to Edmonton to take part in the National Music Festival. At present he is attending Camosun College, taking a few non-music electives. He is interested in political science and intends to take a course in this subject in January. He plans to continue his post-secondary studies in music in September 2011.

Philip says he loves the Bruch (which doesn’t surprise us) and named the slow movement in particular as a musical jewel. That was what he played at the Symphony Splash.

We can’t promise you a beautiful evening along the waterfront, but we can promise a wonderful performance of an exciting work by an accomplished young musician

See you this coming Saturday in Sooke, and Sunday in Victoria.

No need to bring a blanket.

– contributed by Sonja deWit


Secret Gardens not so Secret anymore!

“The Sooke Secret Garden Tour again this year proved to be a major success as a fund raiser for the SPO.  Thank you to all who came and supported this event and again our sincere thanks to all those who contributed their gardens and their time to its success”.

Enjoy photos courtesy of Brian Potter and ANGi PHOTO and DESIGN…

Just click on read more then click a thumbnail to see a larger copy of the photos

Continue reading

Music for Midsummer Review

Music for Midsummer

Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra

Elspeth Poole, cello

Norman Nelson, conductor

Alix Goolden Performance Hall
June 26, 2010

By Deryk Barker

Before August 1914, the central feature of every English village green was its maypole. After 1918, it was the war memorial. The rest of Europe was, of course, similarly traumatised.

Although “The Great War” was to cast its shadow over the rest of the twentieth century – reading a history of the events of mid-1914 is a sobering experience, with its litany of all-too-familiar places: Serbia, Bosnia, Sarajevo. However, I can only think of a single great musical work which is clearly a reaction to that cataclysmic event: Elgar’s Cello Concerto.

The first half of Saturday evening’s concert closed with a stunning performance of what is, for me, the greatest of all concertante works for the instrument. Elspeth Poole gave a most eloquent and virtuosic account of the solo part, with immaculate intonation, fine tone and a maturity beyond her relatively tender years. From the dramatic opening gesture to its deeply poignant return at the work’s close she did not put a foot – of rather, a finger – wrong. Continue reading

Midsummer Message from the Maestro

Hi Folks
Well, we saved the best for last and I send you all my warmest thanks for such hard work and dedication sustained over the last 10 months.
It is so heartwarming to be constantly aware of the progress week by week.   I really am very proud of the standard that we have now achieved and which we are more and more taking for granted.
I look forward eagerly to our great times together next season.   Have a rewarding summer
Best wishes  ……. Norman

Sooke’s Secret Garden Tour 2010

GardenTour_FrontSooke’s Secret Garden Tour

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

10:00am – 4:00pm

(Rain or Shine)

11 Wonderful Gardens to Tour

A wonderful blend of ornamental, natural and oceanfront gardens.  Creative water features and garden structures provide interesting and contrasting elements that share the focus with a wide variety of shrubs, trees, perennials, fruits and vegetables.  Many of the vegetable gardens and small farm properties are maintained solely by their owners, some of whom create sustainable food sources for their families.

Talk with on site Master Gardeners… enjoy Music played by members of the Sooke Philharmonic… view Classic Cars… place your bid at the Silent Auction… make a purchase at the Plant Sale… children invited to learn more and  participate with members of the Sooke Children’s Garden Club.

Self Guided Tour with Detailed Map

Ticket/Map: $20 per person

(children 10 & Under FREE! when accompanied by Adult)

Purchase Your Ticket/Map Brochures

At The Following Outlets:


Shoppers Drug Mart, Evergreen Mall

Westburn Garden Centre, 2036D Idlemore Rd

Double D Gardens, 1958 Maple Rd


Gardenworks, 1859 Island Hwy, 1916 Oak Bay Ave, 4290 Blenkinsop Rd

Art Knapp at Matticks Farm, 5325 Cordova Bay Rd

Dig This, 128—560 Johnson St


Call Sue 250-642-7323 or 250-642-1397

Concerto Competition background

contributed by Sonja DeWit of Sooke Phil High Notes

May 1st is the annual Don Chrysler Concerto Competition, always an exciting time for young musicians, the orchestra and our audiences alike. Of course, the winner will be our October/November concert soloist. We talked to Norman Nelson, SPO conductor, and Paula Kiffner, the teacher of last year’s winner, Rylan Gajek, for a little background. Continue reading

Deryk Barker’s Review of the Sonic Celebration Concert

A Sonic Celebration

Civic Orchestra of Victoria

Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra

Victoria Chamber Orchestra

Yariv Aloni, George Corwin, Norman Nelson: conductors

University Centre Auditorium
April 17, 2010

By Deryk Barker

“When you play music, when you are a musician, you have to realise that the great high of playing a wonderful piece with a full orchestra is temporary and so make the most of it at the time.” Continue reading